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The Ultimate Pro-Life or Choice Debate: Suicide

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The Ultimate Pro-Life or Choice Debate: Suicide

T.A. Christine Section 23


What is freedom? Is anyone truly "free" to do whatever they wish? If the answer to that question was yes, then there would not be the raging debate that is ongoing today. The two major sides of the debate are those who view suicide as civil right and those who believe that suicide is both morally and legally wrong. Both sides have very strong and passionate arguments, but in the end the law is the law, but the most important aspect of this debate is that it is truly for the individual to decide how they feel and what decisions they make with their own life.

Freedom. It is what makes America the pinnacle of modern civilization. A key philosophical question to ask however is that are we truly "free" in every connotation of the word. In respect to suicide, which is the act of taking your own life, it is simply illegal. We have the freedom of speech, the freedom to gather together peacefully and even the right to bear arms, but if an individual should decide to use a legally owned weapon on themselves, it is not an acceptable decision. The only thing that we ever truly have complete rights to in the course of our lifetime is our physical self. We have the choice to run every day and eat all 5 of the necessary servings of fruits and vegetables and basically be healthy, or conversely we can do the polar opposite. You can drink a 12-pack of beer, eat greasy pizza lying down and smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes to just be generally unhealthy. The argument that is made is that if we have a truly "free will" then we should be able to do whatever it is you feel like as long as it doesn't "physically" harm anyone else. It is important to note that the act does not "physically" harm others because there is no real debate as to how mentally damaging suicide can be to those who were close to the person who committed it. This fact along with several others is what the other side use as ammunition in this debate.

The fact that suicide is illegal is not at all a deterrent for the act. For a person who wants to end it all the last thing on their mind is the fact that they could be charged with attempted suicide should they not be successful. The question is of morality. People generally tend to believe that suicide is "wrong" for a multitude of reasons. Religion is one of accelerants that add fuel to the fire of this debate. Some people feel that perhaps because God gave you life only he has the right to take it away. Some argue that they feel that suicide is selfish and only gives relief to the one who passes and leaves nothing but grief for all those left behind. Some even argue that because suicide is not a natural process it is wrong and would call someone who would think to commit such an act "unnatural" and in some cases even a "murderer". Another key argument that some may make is that when a person is near committing suicide they are "mentally ill" or "sick" or they "have just lost it", so the argument is that the person is not coherent and can't make the decisions they really want to make and are unfit



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